Make it with Wool
Rali Burleson, Arizona State Director of the Make It With Wool Contest, sent us a photo of herself in a dress sewn from a vintage (1949) Claire McCardell design pattern. She expects to “get a lot of mileage” out of the dress: she is able to wear it year-round in Arizona because it’s made from 100% AirLoom Merino wool (formerly known as Sir Pendleton fabric). This is a year-sound textile that is, as she says, “almost tissue-paper thin.”
The sewing process
I converted the gathers to pleats (an engineering feat in itself) and used couture techniques throughout (sew-in silk organza interfacing, Hong Kong finishes, stays along the neckline and bodice sides, hand-applied collar and invisible zipper, hand-knotted thread eyes, and more).
For the vintage look, I bought a navy cardigan with ¾ length sleeved-rounded toe pumps, and a structured handbag. For the evening look, I bought a navy satin border silk chiffon scarf to wear as a shawl, pointed-toe suede pumps, and a metallic box clutch.
Admiration for the seamstresses of yore!
I concluded that seamstresses of yore were of a different cut of cloth (pun intended). The vintage patterns I love so much are not for the faint of heart! And to think everyone made their own clothes, children’s clothes, household linens (quilts, embroidered tablecloths, pillowcases, aprons, and so on). Whew!
Would You Like to Enter?
Here is the new and improved National MIWW website: https://makeitwithwool.com/state-contests Contests are run at the state level, and deadline dates (mostly this Fall) are listed by state. This is a great time to explore your state’s contest, especially with so many students expected to be home based this Fall. And don’t forget our September apparel fabric sale!